Evgeni Malkin out 6-8 weeks for Penguins


If the Penguins intend to make it into the postseason, they will need to do so without superstar forward Evgeni Malkin, who will be out six to eight weeks with an upper body injury.

Malkin left the game Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets after a collision with defenseman Dalton Prout in the second period.

“He is one of the top players in the league, and it is certainly a setback,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “But in these cases, other players step up.”

Malkin is currently second on the team in goals (27) and points (58), and had posted 21 points over the last 16 games before the injury. Earlier this season when Malkin was out for a 10-game stretch due to injury, the team went 5-4-1 in his absence.

“As a group, we have to make up for the loss,” Rutherford said.

It’s believed that the earliest Malkin will return is during the first round of the playoffs, should the Penguins make it to the postseason. They currently occupy the first Wildcard playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points.

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